Events | Farewell to Cherish House, and our 45th Celebration

Yesterday was an emotional day for us and our guests who joined us for our Open Day, and for our evening Reception, as we wish farewell to our beloved home for over 40 years, Cherish House, in advance of our move to Smithfield next month and also celebrate 45 years since the founding of Cherish/One Family.

Our first President, Mary Robinson and our current president, Mary Henry, joined our founders, Board members, current and past staff, clients, friends and colleagues to view an exhibition, “Letters from our Mothers”. It features a selection of letters we received from women all over the country who were pregnant or mothers and unmarried, and their mothers, throughout the 1970s.


It was wonderful that women who lived in Cherish House from the 80s up to 12 years ago with their babies returned home accompanied by those same babies, now adults, to share photos and memories across the decades.



We celebrated our journey and acknowledged all that we have achieved since we formed in 1972, including the abolition of the status of illegitimacy and the introduction of the One Parent Family Payment. We remembered friends and colleagues central to that journey who we have lost. We committed to continue our work towards a society where all children are cherished equally, where all families are recognised, where lone parents are valued, and where no child suffers as a result of poverty.

Most of all, we celebrated our founders whose spirit, grit and sheer humour inspire us every day!

We thank our founders. We thank Sinéad Gibney for her powerful performance of her poem that captures the truth of being a lone parent, Enda Reilly for the beautiful music, and everyone who joined us throughout the day yesterday to give our wonderful building the farewell it deserved. Thank you to FX Buckley Steakhouses who supported our celebration with provision of wonderful food and wine, and their great staff team.

We look forward to being able to provide more services to parents and their children in our new premises in Coke Lane, Smithfield, Dublin 7 when we open our doors there on Tuesday 1 August 2017.

A photo album from our Farewell and 45th celebration can be enjoyed on this link.

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One Family Documentary Wins at New York Festivals

One Family is proud and delighted that the Today FM documentary Cherish All The Children, produced and presented by Hilary Fennell, has won an award in the Social Issues Category at the New York Festivals Radio Awards.

The one-hour radio documentary explores the founding of Cherish/One Family in 1972 and includes interviews with the organisation’s first President, Mary Robinson; our wonderful founders; current staff and clients about what we do today; and many more. It is a fascinating, moving and insightful look at the reality of life for women in the 70s who were pregnant and unmarried, and the achievements, evolution and progression of our organisation.

Our founders recall the lengths they had to go to in hiding their pregnancies – even creating outfits with over-sized pockets and cardigans – and the fear and stress they experienced but they share numerous funny and inspirational stories too; stories filled with courage, resourcefulness and camaraderie.

Congratulations to our brave and eloquent founders, to Hilary Fennell, to Today FM and to all who participated.

Cherish All The Children, which was partially recorded here in Cherish House, was first broadcast on Today FM on 29 December 2013. It is available to listen to here.

To find out more about our history, click here and to download the fascinating book Single Issue by our founding member Maura O’Dea Richards, click here.

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Pictured at One Family Graduation 2013

Foreground: Cherish/One Family founder Maura O’Dea Richards

Background: Current CEO, Karen Kiernan

Photo Credit: Paul Sherwood